Supportive Parenting Helps Combat Cyberbullying, Study Finds
By Movieguide® Contributor
Researchers from the University of Southern Australia recently uncovered several parenting strategies that can help mitigate the effects of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is a serious issue affecting most children in the U.S. Recent statistics show that 60% of students will experience some form of cyberbullying before they graduate high school.
With negative interactions online being a major factor in the rise of depression and suicidal thoughts and actions among young people, concerned parents are seeking ways to help combat these negative effects.
Dr. Carmel Taddeo and Professor Barbara Spears from the University of Southern Australia have outlined five strategies that their research has shown to help children cope with negative online interactions.
Develop your child’s self-esteem and confidence.
Role model positive communication – listening, negotiating, being assertive and respectful.
Provide opportunities for your child to connect with others face-to-face and online.
Ask how your child feels about their connections and friendships.
Remember that connecting online is not an indicator of social connectedness.
“As much as they may want to, parents can’t always shield their children from online bullying. But they can role model and teach their children how to better cope if they face negative interactions,” said Dr. Taddeo. “The heart of this lies with positive relationships and constructive communication.
“By nature, people are social creatures, so when we have positive respectful and healthy relationships, we gain a sense of belonging, being cared for, valued, and supported. When we don’t have these, we are more at risk of negative experiences, and if we encounter them, we’re less likely to ask for help,” he continued.
As the time people spend online continues to grow, it becomes ever more important for families to set a firm foundation of trust and communication through real-world, face-to-face interaction.
Movieguide® suggests that parents set a good example for their children by avoiding the constant use of technology. God created us to live in His creation, not the technological world that we have created.
However, parents recognize that the significant presence of technology is problematic, not only for their children but also for them.
According to the survey, “more than half of U.S. parents (60%) are seeking ways to escape technology and reconnect with their kids. With nearly eight in 10 (79%) of parents claiming their experiences with their children are more memorable without the presence of electronic devices, it’s no surprise that most (52%) parents have attempted to limit technology usage within their households.”
Just as parents set screen time limits for their children, they should do the same for themselves. Parents are encouraged to play outdoors more and even create device-free areas in their homes.
Chief marketing officer at Campspot Erin Stender said, “Summer is the perfect time to unplug and reconnect with what truly matters—our families. We know the power of stepping away from screens and immersing ourselves in nature, since it’s often in these moments that we create the strongest family bonds.”
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